Treadle Lathe Build #4: The flywheel

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Blog entry by brianl posted 10-31-2011 05:23 AM 7812 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Tool rest Part 4 of Treadle Lathe Build series Part 5: Rebuilding the tool rest »

The flywheel is based around a 2×12 of Douglas Fir I picked up at the big orange store. Not exactly high quality wood, but it gave me the mass I was looking for. I then added a layer of 3/4” pine boards to increase the mass a bit more.

I cut the flywheel by mounting it in a vise and using the bow saw I made to cut the rough shape. Doing it this way seemed to be a lot faster than cutting rounding by cutting corners.

Once the rough shape was cut, I then trued up the wheel with a spokeshave.

The flywheel has a 5/8” hole bored through the center. There are also 1 3/8” holes bored 1/2” deep on each side to accept two sets of bearings that the flywheel rides on.

Once the bearings are in, the flywheel is mounted on the support and locked into place with stop collars.

To get the wheel to turn freely, I had to sand down the 5/8” steel rod that the flywheel was mounted on. It was just a bit too large and was causing the mounting to drag on the flywheel, greatly reducing it’s speed. Once I got it slimmed down, the speed of the flywheel increased greatly. The shine of the right side gives away my work:

Finally, the wheel mounted:

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

3 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3191 days

#1 posted 10-31-2011 06:56 PM

Nice progression.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2866 days

#2 posted 10-31-2011 07:09 PM

Awesome! I found an old treadle that I used to power a pillowblocked axle. I gave up on mine out of sheer frustration. I don’t think my flywheel had enough girth, my vee-belt was too rigid, and my pillowblocks were too crummy. I’ll be watching this one! ;0

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2828 days

#3 posted 11-19-2011 09:27 PM

I can’t believe I missed this. Nicely done so far.

Can’t wait to see it in action.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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